LEONARD, Frederic (1624-1711, editor)
Recueil des Traitez de Paix, de Treve, de Neutralité, de Confederation, d'Alliance, et de Commerce, faits par les Rois de France, avec tous les princes, et potentats de l'Europe, et autres, depuis pres de trois siecles
Paris: 1693. 6 volumes, quarto. (9 7/8 x 7 1/2 inches). (Light scattered foxing).
Contemporary speckled calf, spine in six compartments, lettered gilt direct.
The most important early collection of French treaties: a very good set.
This massive compilation is the first major collection of French treaties, beginning in 1435 and running to 1692, including many treaties relating to America. Many important French state papers appeared here for the first time, especially those from the 15th and 16th centuries. It was not until the early 17th century that published versions of treaties began to appear simultaneously with the event, and even then treaties between kings were often secret, or contained secret sections, for decades. Thus, the Leonard set offers either first or very early printings of many documents of the greatest importance, including a number that are important for the Americas. The NUC entry for this work describes it in six volumes and locates five sets. Sabin states the work consists of six regular volumes plus two additional volumes of twenty-nine treaties with separate titlepages for each, covering treaties from 1697 to 1719. This set includes the original six volumes published in 1693, and is complete in and of itself. Frances Davenport identifies eleven treaties for which the Leonard set provides the first or first French printing between 1556 and 1684, as follows: 1) Davenport 20. Treaty between France and Spain, 1556, by which the French agreed to stay out of Spanish America and the Spanish agreed to leave alone French fisheries off the North American coast. 2) Davenport 22. Treaty between France and Spain, 1585. A similar agreement to keep France out of the Indies. 3) Davenport 26. Treaty between France and England, 1603. This treaty was made while England and Spain were still at war, and arranged for the French and British to take concerted action, with England raising a fleet to attack the Spanish New World dominions. It became a dead letter when James I made peace with Spain the next year. 4) Davenport 29. A defensive alliance between the Netherlands, France and England, in which the latter two agreed not to interfere with Dutch trade in the New World. 5) Davenport 32. Treaty between the Netherlands and France, agreeing not to interfere with each other's trade in the New World. 6) Davenport 34. Treaty between England and France settling the brief war between the powers of 1627-28. In this war the British had seized much of New France, including Quebec, which was restored with the peace. 7) Davenport 36. Treaty between Great Britain and France (St. Germain-en-laye). This treaty followed up Davenport 34, above, and called for the specific restoration of all of Canada; England gave up Nova Scotia reluctantly, and only in the face of French naval superiority. 8) Davenport 37. Treaty between France and Portugal, 1641. Portugal, having won independence back from Spain, agrees to cooperate with the French and Dutch against Spain in the New World. 9) Davenport 68. Agreement between Spain and the Netherlands, made by Spain in an attempt to defend its New World possessions. 10) Davenport 73. Cessation of hostilities in America between France and Sweden on one hand, and Denmark and Brandenburg on the other, 1679. This war had involved battles between the West Indian possessions of all powers, and restored the status quo while allowing free trade in West Indian ports. 11) Davenport 77. Treaty between Spain and France, 1684 (Ratisbon). This treaty supposedly brought peace between the Spanish and French throughout the world, but was really a screen by Louis XIV for his incursions on Spanish dominions in the New World. Immediately after it he authorized La Salle to start his colony on the Gulf of Mexico, and attempted to seize northern New Spain. A most important collection.